Sophon Ting, Chris Douangkham
MODESTO, Calif. — Three teenagers accused of murder appeared in court January 26, 2011 for the first time since a husband, his wife and their daughter were shot inside the family’s V & V Oriental Market in Modesto on Tuesday. “I hope they hang them.” said a victim’s relative, who did want to be identified. In court, the judge revealed 15-year old Sophon Ting and 16-year old Chris Douangkham will be tried as adults along with 18-year old Oloth Phommahaxay. Prosecutors are charging all three with three counts of murder, robbery, burglary and participating in a street gang. Prosecutors also added special allegations and special circumstances that could make this a death penalty case. However, in court, the prosecutor told the judge that the district attorney’s office is “reserving disclosure” about a decision on the death penalty until a later date. Victims Vanh Thammvingsa, 55, and his wife, Phouvieng, died the day of the shooting. The couple’s daughter, Nanci remains on life-support. “However, because she is essentially brain-dead, she is being treated as murder victim for purposes of the charges.” Modesto Police Chief Mike Harden explained. Attorneys for all three suspects entered not guilty pleas and denied the special enhancements. The judge denied bail for Phommahaxay. Bail for Ting and Douangkham was set at $10 million each.
Watch the YouTube video on the candlelight memorial for the victims.